Blogs can be an awesome addition to any creative business, especially one that has and/or needs an active online presence. Arguably you can still connect with your ideal clients and promote your business via other online options, such as Instagram, Twitter, and a mailing list, but running a blog alongside or adjacent to your creative business can really make a big impact and difference along the way.
There are many reasons why a blog can help your creative business, but today I'm going to talk you through five of my favourite reasons to run a blog alongside your work. This post is for you if you are a:
Creative business owner: Whether you run a service or product based business, a blog can be a great outlet to increase your impact and reach and help you connect with your ideal customers and clients.
Creative blogger hoping to turn your blog into a business: If you're thinking of turning your blog into a business, whether by selling your creative services or maybe launching a shop, these following five steps can help you to really focus your online space so that it works for you and your goals.
Content Marketing: Through your blog you can create and share valuable and relevant content that attracts your ideal readers and customers and shares your expertise and knowledge with the world. In my experience, content marketing can be one of the most effective ways to use your blog alongside a business, though I think it works best when done in an authentic way. Instead of using it as a way to sneak in selling techniques to your audience, I think it can be much more fulfilling (and ultimately more effective) when done with the intention of adding lots of free value for your readers.
Although the intention behind content marketing is to book a client or make a sale, it's easy to see through a website that exists solely for these purposes. If you're passionate about your industry and your work, and you're excited by the idea of connecting with your ideal readers and giving them as much value as possible through your blog content, you'll probably find that as a consequence of that you'll then start attracting your dream customers and clients. This doesn't mean that your content marketing process shouldn't be strategic and purposeful - I actually spend the majority of my time with coaching clients who are running creative businesses helping them build purposeful content marketing strategy - but it's about doing it in an authentic way.
The best advice anyone ever gave me is to give 99% of your knowledge away for free, and that is exactly how I approach this blog and the content I share. This idea can scare many business owners - why would anyone hire me if I've already given them all of my information and knowledge? - but most people will find that without sharing your knowledge and why people should trust your work and feel secure investing in you, it will be harder to make sales in the long run. People buy from humans, not companies.
Diversify your income streams: A blog can be a great way to diversify your income streams, which for many is an essential for staying afloat and making ends meet. If you make the majority of your income via hourly services or one-off projects, you may struggle to feel stable from month to month. It's great when the work is flooding in, but once a quiet bout hits it can be quite the blow to our budgets. Through your blog you can explore the option of diversifying your income streams, whether it's with digital products, advertising, affiliate links, or online classes. For example, if you're a photographer who relies heavily on certain seasons to do a big bulk of your work, creating digital downloadable products such as mock-ups, ECourses, and stock photos can be a great way to expand your income streams.
My best advice here is to always monetise with intention and integrity. Create and share products and offerings that you're proud of, that reflect your brand well, and that solve a problem for your customers. This post on Five Questions For Anyone Who Wants To Turn Their Blog Into An Income Stream may be of help.
Connect with your ideal customers/clients: One of the best things a blog can do is really help you to connect with your ideal customers and clients. SEO is all well and good but it may not help you attract high quality referrals - this post is a must read for anyone else worrying about their SEO techniques.
Most of us start creative businesses because we're passionate about the work we do and the people we want to do it with/for. Nothing kills that spirit more than clients who aren't aligned with who we're really meant to be working with. Through your blog you can really share your vision, ideas, and expertise with the world and connect with the right people for you. My best advice? Focus on creating content for your ideal clients/readers, not your creative peers and friends. As much as I would love to write more about my day-to-day life as a creative solopreneur and the process behind my work, this space exists as an online creative resource for bloggers, creatives, and creative business owners (who all happen to be my dream clients) so I let that take centre stage and focus on creating content that will be of most value and use to them.
Share your brand message: No creative businesses are made the same. They all have their own intentions, purpose, and goals behind them that make them perfect for their own customers and clients, and a blog is a great space to really share your brand message and purpose with the world. Through your copy, the content you share, and your social media presence you can really make it clear who you are, what you're about, and who your work is for. This can especially be helpful for any service based creative businesses who want to attract dream clients along the way.
Ultimately, your blog can be a great place to help you and your business stand out. It's the perfect outlet to share your personal brand and set the tone of how you want your business to be perceived.
Challenge your creativity: On a more personal note, a blog is also a great place to challenge and nurture your creativity. The day to day realities of running your own business can sometimes take its toll, and in between all the business tasks it can be hard to find time to push your creative skill set. Your blog can be the perfect outlet for this. You can share some behind-the-scenes, side projects, and even start an entire new creative challenge for yourself. It opens you up to daily feedback from your audience, and that in itself is a great way to learn, develop, and grow along the way. I think the best blogs start from a place of creativity, whether its purpose is to work alongside a business or not, and the personal fulfilment from running an online space can really keep you going through quiet and stressful times in your business.
Do you run a blog alongside your creative business? Or are you thinking of launching a business soon alongside your blog? Will you be exploring any of these step mentioned?
How We Can Work Together
I work with creatives to help them overcome creative fear, attract their ideal customers and clients, and give their business a better online presence. Being a blogger and a creative often overlaps, so I love working with creatives to help them bring their blog to life as a space to share their work and expertise. Find out more here.
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